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Don Cornelius

Commits Suicide

2/1/2012 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Don Cornelius Dead of Suicide at 75
Don Cornelius
-- who famously created "Soul Train" was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home this morning ... and law enforcement sources tell us it appears he committed suicide.

We're told cops discovered the body at around 4 AM PT. Law enforcement sources tell us ... Cornelius died from a gunshot wound to the head and officials believe the wound was self-inflicted.

We're told Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Soul Train" changed the landscape of television when it debuted in 1971 and ran until 2006.

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Officials have notified Don's family.

Cornelius was 75.

During Don's bitter divorce proceedings in 2009, he told an L.A. judge he was suffering from "significant health issues" and wanted to "finalize this divorce before I die."

Cornelius was arrested in 2008 for beating up his wife. He pled no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence and was placed on 3 years probation. His probation just terminated.

The divorce was granted in 2010.

Sources close to Don tell us ... the TV icon was plagued with health issues for years ... including a stroke and a condition that required brain surgery.

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8:10 AM PST --
Shawn Holley -- Don's lawyer and good friend -- tells TMZ, "This is devastating news. Don was a kind, funny and brilliant man. Even though his many health battles had left him frail, he remained vibrant, courtly and always sharp as a tack."

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296 COMMENTS

No Avatar
61.

Cookie Monstaa    

But did he have to do it On the first day of Black History Month? Really???
May God rest your soul

909 days ago
62.

squeakermama    

Very sad. That wonderful deep rich voice forever silenced on this side of eternity.

909 days ago
63.

Neph Bailey    

OMG!!!!

909 days ago
64.

juliettetmz    

RIP Don,So said to lose someone you have spent many years working with. He is known as uncle Don to alot of us. Hard to believe. : (

909 days ago
65.

mimi    

RIP you will truly be missed! We never know what someone is going through!

909 days ago
66.

Maxina Franzoni    

Thanks TMZ for having the facts. Did he leave a suicide note?

909 days ago
67.

Robo    

No note?

909 days ago
68.

PAUL    

man i loved this guy always a class act. you would never catch this man swagging or misspeaking during his interview RIP

909 days ago
69.

kathy hodges    

don you will be truly miss you gave us soullllll rip

909 days ago
70.

mommaluka    

saint peter is leading the soul train through the sky

909 days ago
71.

Sylvia Hunt    

You never know what someone else is going thru. I too have a neighbor who's brother also committed suicide because he had dementia and he didn't want his family to see him like that he was in his 80"s and he knew his health was declining so he left his brother a note and told him where he would be and when his brother found him he was dead from gunshot wound. God only knows our fate. RIP. Don

909 days ago
72.

Drae    

Love, Peace, and Soooooooooooul...

909 days ago
73.

TAB    

RIP Don

909 days ago
74.

Delores Dawson    

Sincere sympathy to Mr. Cornelious' family and friends. A true icon who gave much to many! God only knows the pain he was in; may he R.I.P.

909 days ago
75.

Jeanette    

So sad! RIP

909 days ago
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